As the owner of a nursery store, as well as being the person that completes the VAT returns, I am very aware of how much we pay in VAT to HMRC on behalf of our customers. VAT is charged on what the Government deems non-essential items and luxuries, so baby clothing, nappies and books are Zero rated for VAT, whilst pretty much everything else has 20% VAT incorporated into the retail price.
In the past, campaigners have managed to get the VAT rate on menstrual products such as disposable towels, tampons, washable pads and Mooncups down to 5% (after campaigning for zero VAT status), as these items are essential and not something you would buy for ‘fun’. The same reduction in VAT happened to baby and child car seats after lobbying by the industry and consumer support.¬† What this petition is asking for is a similar consideration to be applied to all items that are only purchased to support mothers in providing babies with breastmilk.
Rather than 5% VAT I would like these items to be Zero rated for VAT, because breast milk is food. ¬†All other essential foods are zero rated for VAT,¬† as are formula milks and other animal and plant milks.
If you too would like to see the VAT rate of breastfeeding essentials brought down to Zero please sign my petition at.